Trade No. 3 — Miami Heat
Miami Heat Receive: G Derrick Rose
Detroit Pistons Receive: G Kendrick Nunn, F KZ Okpala, MIA 2025 1st Round Pick
Derrick Rose is an X-Factor for a championship-caliber team like the Miami Heat and while he may not be the most dynamic player on the court anymore, he understands the game just as good as anyone else. A lot of people tend to forget that Derrick Rose is the youngest player to ever win the league MVP award and he did not just win it because of his stats.
His overall ability to have an impact on the game, both on and off the court is what makes him such a valuable, veteran player, especially for the Miami Heat, who have a lot of high-level, young talent on their roster.
With how good some of the other teams in the Eastern Conference have got, the Heat needs to make a move and this one is the least affordable one with a high-impact for their organization. Kendrick Nunn has the potential to be a franchise point guard down the road, but with the Heat re-signing Goran Dragic and bringing in Avery Bradley, it does not seem like they are comfortable with giving Nunn the reins to the backcourt yet.
Basically swapping Nunn and a future first-round pick for Derrick Rose makes a lot of sense because the Heat’s championship window is small right now. Even though they just made the NBA Finals last season, a lot of voices around the league believe that it was a “fluke” and the Heat just got hot at the right time.
While this is the case with any team in any professional sport come playoff time, the Heat were and are a really good team that is built for the playoffs. What makes them so special is that they have plenty of options in terms of scoring, but they can struggle at times with decision making and finding consistent play from their backcourt.
Adding Derrick Rose definitely defuses both of these question marks about this team, as he is more than capable of leading this team in crucial moments of a game and providing a sense of comfort in the backcourt. He can score, he can facilitate and most importantly, he can find his open teammates for big shots when it matters most.
From the Pistons point of view; Derrick Rose was a great player for the Pistons last season coming off the bench, but this season, with the team looking to get rookie Killian Hayes as much experience at point guard as possible, Rose does not have that big of a role. With Hayes going down with a hip injury, this definitely opens up more minutes than originally anticipated for Derrick Rose, but acquiring a younger guard like Kendrick Nunn to fill this role instead of Rose makes more sense in the long-run.
The Pistons need draft picks and young talent, which is exactly what they could get from the Heat for Derrick Rose. Nunn is a score-first type of guard and could easily play in a duel-backcourt with Killian Hayes when he is healthy and while KZ Okpala is a very under-developed player, he has found some success in the G-League.
In 20 games with the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA G-League last year, Okpala averaged 11.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and shot 36.8% from the floor. In today’s NBA, you can never have too many good wing players and with time to develop behind some solid and experienced players, the young 6’8” forward could benefit greatly.
With Derrick Rose in the final year of his contract, it makes a lot of sense for the Detroit Pistons to trade him now and the Miami Heat should do everything they can to bring Rose to South Beach.